Margaret B. Ingraham: “Tints of Yellow Spring”


The clandestine white-throated sparrows,
more distinctive for their yellow lores
than for their whistled notes, have flocked
to find their provender along uneven ground.
Starlings forgo their morning meals to gather
strands of sun-blanched hay in saffron beaks
just turned from their dark shade of winter brown,
and mounds of lemon-tinted dandelions surround
the foot of the imposing, ancient Chinese elm where
yesterday I glimpsed elusive yellow-shafted flickers
deep in the sallow shade of its highest branches.
Today, repeating the same bright theme again,
the common grackle flashes a cadmium eye
at forsythia’s wildly swaying buttery blooms,
then spreads its shimmering wings
gilded by early April morning’s liquid light
that drops, then drips like wild honey to bring
richer tints to the palette of this yellow spring.

Margaret B. Ingraham is the author of a poetry chapbook, Proper Words for Birds (Finishing Line Press), nominated for the 2010 Library of Virginia Award in poetry; This Holy Alphabet, lyric poems based on her original translation of Psalm 119 (Paraclete Press, 2009); and a poetry collection, Exploring this Terrain (Paraclete Press, 2020).

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